California’s Mental Health Overhaul Long Overdue

California’s outmoded and dangerous mental health hospitals might get badly needed attention from Sacramento through an administrative overhaul and extra security money. It’s a welcome though overdue response to a scandalously unsafe situation. The plans, outlined in Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget, follow a string of assaults and deaths in the state’s five mental hospitals, overwhelmed by increasingly violent patients. Once homes for the frail and sick, the state facilities have become a safety valve for the prison system and courts.  Some 90 percent of the 6,000 patients come from criminal courts – a trend that has led to a surge in attacks while the system struggles to adjust. Example A is Napa State Hospital, which was built in 1872 as a caretaker institution, but is now populated with patients judged unfit to stand trial.

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One response to “California’s Mental Health Overhaul Long Overdue

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